David Grissom. Current tone or Joe Ely era?

David Grissom Tone. Which do you prefer?

  • Current Tone

    Votes: 16 32.0%
  • Joe Ely Era Tone

    Votes: 34 68.0%

  • Total voters

Wyatt Martin

I've been on a David Grissom kick recently and I have been really digging his tone with Joe Ely in the 80s early 90s.

His current tone is great too but in comparison it's really thick and a little Billy Gibbons-ish but who wouldn't want that sound right?

I've watched some newer videos with Grissom and Ely but to me his tone doesn't quite work for those old songs but then again why would David want to sound like he did when he was in Ely's band when he's no longer in that band and it's 20 years later.

Kurt L

Silver Supporting Member
Hard to say… Grissom sounds incredible and is such a great player it’s hard to picture things getting much better.

But… I have such fond memories of Joe Ely and David Grissom together! So many awesome shows - those guys were peanut butter and jelly. The combination just worked.


Silver Supporting Member
Liberty Lunch is what made me notice PRS guitars. I was at one of the Liberty Lunch gigs w/Ely & Grissom. No idea if it was the recorded one, but I saw them there when I lived in Austin from '88-'90-ish. Grissom also played often at Pearl's Oyster Bar in North Austin once a week, and I saw him a lot then. His thicker tones now don't have the same "cut" through the mix, but he's also being mixed more front and center now. Sideman tone isn't the same as frontman tone, maybe?

Yer Blues

His playing (and tone) are always great. Amp sound is a dirty amp and he can get it pretty clean with rolling off the guitars volume. I like to set my amp the same, but I can't get the same clean tone. I know he plays with his pick and fingers all the time, but I haven't seen anything on what he does when he is picking clean parts like Letter to LA. Hybrid picking still?

His true fire stuff is really good.


Just Passin' Thru
Gold Supporting Member
I voted Ely era tone cuz that tone kicks ass. Similar tones when playing with James McMurtry on ACL back in the day. He got an unbelievable tone from an Esquire into a Plexi that was nothing short of amazing. I also like the Storyville tones early on. His live sound was awesome back then. Still enjoy the Billy G inspired tones but I like his older stuff more. I enjoyed the Booze Weasels shows a lot as well.


Silver Supporting Member
I've never heard this Joe Ely stuff.

What's a record I should check out?

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